At Wine Expo, named one of the "10 Best Wine & Spirit Shops in LA" by Los Angeles Magazine, racks teem with wine, craft beer, and liquor from every corner of the globe, plus, a generous selection of real Champagne. The knowledgeable staffers on hand know the difference between standard fruity, oak-infused bottles with lackluster taste and knockout wines that accentuate dinners of red meat or red crayons. They help guide oenophiles in selecting Portuguese whites or Tuscan reds, and organic sparkling white wines or a 31-year-old bottle of scotch. At the wine bar, sippers can sample the flavors for themselves, with flights of three whites, three to four reds, or glasses of beer. Small plates accompany the drinks, including mild cheeses, prosciutto, and crostini.
Vino experts at Harry's Wine & Spirits stock shelves with a plethora of wines from both California and international varietals and fill balloon glasses with swirls of red and white ribbons during tasting events. The libation retailer also houses fine spirits such as single-malt scotch, sippable cognac, and herbal-inflected gin. An array of gift baskets stands ready to be filled with a choice of glassware, chocolates, and caviar like the inside of Robin Leach's bathtub.
“We like to drink wine. Not so much sniff it, stare at it, swirl it, or try to describe it with funny words.” Let that quote from the owners be proof that you won’t find an ounce of pretension at Bodega. In the living-room-inspired lounge, patrons order wine by the glass and share small plates.
Held on select weekends, each SaMo Wine Party celebrates varietals from around the world with three hours of unlimited tasting. Bartenders uncork everything from Tablas Creek bottles to sparkling wine from Crystianos Cava, all carefully selected by a team of expert vintners and the surviving members of the California Raisins. To complement the evening's limitless pours, DJs set the mood with upbeat tunes, while chefs prepare bites such as customized sushi rolls or gourmet burgers. The soirees take place amid the Bali-inspired d?cor of the two-level Monsoon Cafe or the 20-plus TVs inside The Garage featuring The Motor Club.
Los Angeles Oktoberfest invites visitors to celebrate the changing seasons with two days of traditional Bavarian revelry. Hosted by Bob Guiney from ABC's The Bachelor, the festival invites attendees to fill their glass steins with any of the 19 available German beers and purchase hearty platefuls of bratwurst, giant pretzels, and strudel. Live bands lead traditional, sing-along drinking tunes, a Bavarian dance group performs for joyous audiences, and a strolling accordionist weaves through the crowds while playing familiar German melodies. In addition to bidding on sports memorabilia at the silent-auction table, patrons can also test their arm strength by competing in the stein-holding competition, which rewards the winners with lifetime admission to the Los Angeles Oktoberfest and a brand new pair of steel biceps to replace the old, used-up ones.
Upstairs 2 sits on the second floor of The Wine House, a 25,000-square-foot retail shop. Naturally, the selection is extensive, but owner Bill Knight isn’t content to just serve wine. There’s also a seasonal and sustainable menu of New American small plates divided by wine type to promote tasty pairings.